Home Ownership & Wealth Generation: Should you be renting?

A recent study has suggested that renting an apartment can make you more money than owning a home.  As shocking as this may sound, a thorough review of the data, reveals you should take your time before doing anything drastic.

A Revision of the American Dream of Homeownership,”published in 2017, does not outright tell us that renting is more profitable, but sobers us with the fact that property appreciation is not as wealth generating as we have come to believe.

pexels-photo-572056.jpegHome owners tend to accumulate wealth more than renters, now, due to the accumulation of a strong down payment for a house.  From saving for a down payment to switching to home ownership, owners generate wealth easily while renters do not.

The study however, suggests that renters who invest in the stock market could easily outperform homeowners that do not.  “When you assume that those monies are reinvested at a rate of return, renting, on average, wins in terms of wealth creation,” states the study’s authors.

Also noted by the study, is that “the difference in wealth between renting and owning can be most affected by choices within the scope of the individual rather than through the impact of exogenous market variables.”

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Cryptocurrencies and the Real Estate Industry

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are new electronic cash systems that are completely decentralized with no server or central authority. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies advocate that blockchain technology is the key to a secure monetary future. By providing unique access codes, secure transactions can take place from almost anywhere in the world and the blocks of code will create an incorruptible record of each transaction and access point.

This is relevant to the real estate industry because it would allow buyers to provide secure funds in a relatively short amount of time.

According to Bitcoin, there are several advantages of using their form of cryptocurrency. Users can make or receive payments regardless of location or time of day. Transfer fees are cheaper because they are not based off of the total amount of funds being transferred. Since private consumer information is not included in the transaction records, transactions are more secure.

Users can also add layers of protection to their crypto assets by using two factor authentication and alternative backup methods.

The real estate industry is slowly starting to accept Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies because of these advantages. The International Blockchain Real Estate Association is a member-focused advocacy, educational, and trade organization dedicated to implementing blockchain real estate.

According to their website, cryptocurrencies can “reduce costs, stamp out fraud, speed up transactions, increase financial privacy, internationalize markets, and make real estate a liquid asset”. Some luxury homes for sale are already being listed on MLS’ with cryptocurrency price tags and some landlords let renters to pay with virtual currency because landlords do not have to worry about checks bouncing and funds clearing after a day or two.

Blockchain technology is not without its own challenges. Cyber fraud has resulted in the loss of tokens worth millions of dollars. Many sellers currently do not accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because they have little to no experience with them. Currency volatility has always been an issue and new cryptocurrencies are being invented on a regular basis. Despite these drawbacks, more and more real estate opportunities are beginning to welcome blockchain technology.

 

 

An Agents Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

1) Daily Schedule
pexels-photo-262550Ask any top agent about their weekly schedule and you will see it is very similar on a day to day basis. They have specifically set aside a block of time to work on very specific tasks; and most importantly they stick to their schedules! If you are having trouble crafting your schedule start by listing out all important tasks you must complete to build your rental and sales business.
Next, group all tasks into “must do daily” and “must do weekly” segments. Then prioritize all “must do daily” tasks in order from “most important” to “least important.”
The most important daily tasks should be the bulk of your daily schedule. You can then sprinkle in the weekly tasks where you have time.
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2) Be Consistent!
pexels-photo-101808One of the worst behaviors an agent can fall into is the inconsistency trap. Consistency with all aspects your business is a must to ensure prolonged success. Crafting and sticking to your daily schedule will allow you to be consistent throughout all aspects of your business. Consistency in your lead generation efforts is specifically important.
If you find yourself having very similar conversations with all your potential clients, it means you have become consistent!
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3) High-Tech, High-Touch
coffee-smartphone-desk-penThe Real Estate Industry is being flooded with productivity tools aimed at helping you be a better and more efficient agents. One such example is the Rental Beast Broker Portal with our CRM included or our Application Tool. Use these tools. It will help improve the efficiency of your business. However you must be cautious to not loose the personal touch old-school real estate agents relied upon! Every so often, send hand written notes to your clients or drop them a phone call, just to see how they are doing. This will ensure you don’t loose the personal touch!

What does low inventory in DC mean?

vacation-rentalsA slow and low Winter of homes for sale tends to lead to a blossoming of inventory and a more active market in the warmer months. But this year seemed to be the exception; especially for the DC area.

Local real estate experts say that a healthy market should have around a six-month supply of inventory, but this year there is less then a two-month supply in the DC market. Based off 2012 numbers, DC inventory has dropped 27% and it has affected all price ranges and housing types. The inventory segment to be hit hardest by lackluster supply are the lower-priced starter homes, which are down 42%.

What does this mean for real estate agents in the DC area?

Lower inventory means higher prices which are scaring away first time home buyers like millennials and keeping them in the rental game. Because of this the multi-family market is seeing a huge boost.

Multi-family inventory saw a 3.6% increase last year – greater the national average of 2.4%. And, with over 4,600 units permitted in 2016 – the second highest and only exceeded by the record breaking 2015 – this new inventory has helped keep rents under control with a slim 2.6% year-over-year increase in rents – compared to 4% nationally. These numbers renting a viable option for those priced out of the competitive sales market.

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 11.40.44 AMNow that we’ve hit the Winter season once again, only time will tell whether or not the market can swing back around in Spring 2018.

How can agents capitalize on this strong rental market?

The Rental Beast platform provides the perfect addition to any real estate professionals business portfolio. We have the largest database of listings in the DC area including the MLS and other local sites that our Rental Beast ninjas have meticulously searched for, acquired, and added to our platform with the all information you will need to help your clients. Our platform provides several avenues to help agents market themselves and generate rental leads in the DC area.

Rental Beast agents live by the mantra that all rental leads are future home buyers. By building that relationship now handling their rental search, you ensure that when they decide to purchase in the future, you will be the first person they call.

 

Little to no housing being built in the suburbs

The Boston Foundation reports in their annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card that while it is true that new housing is being added in the Greater Boston area, the majority of the units are in the city of Boston itself and in just a few surrounding cities while towns in the suburbs are seeing little to no construction.

2Young and working families are finding it difficult to afford to live in the city but since housing prices are increasing in the suburbs because of a lack of new construction these families are left with few options. Only a handful of towns have added noteworthy amounts of housing, including Weymouth, Framingham, Plymouth, and Sharon. Out of about 13,000 building permits that were issued this year for the entire Greater Boston area, about 40% of those were issued by the city of Boston.

Although some believe that housing prices may inhibit economic growth, schools and jobs in the area continue to attract students and professionals every year. Rent prices are also slowly falling as a direct result of the additional housing that has become available.

 

 

Millennials and Home Buying: A Look at Credit Scores

A young 3D woman debt consumer works to build up her credit scorAs the millennial generation continues to head-butt its way into the housing market, credit scores are creating a sizable burden on their ability to purchase a home.  A recent Rent.com survey stated that 78% of the millennial generation renters do not plan on buying a home soon.

Many cite the benefits of renting as their mainstay against home buying.  However, in a recent TransUnion survey, 43% of those aged 18-34 blame subpar credit scores.

So why aren’t millennials buying houses?

Inability to obtain a fair mortgage and a general disinterest in buying.  Credit score is the biggest hurdle for the younger generation, as most mortgages have a minimum requirement of credit score.

TransUnion found that one third of adults aged 18 to 34 have a credit score in between 300 and 600. A credit score of 620 will score you a mortgage, but anything lower is a crapshoot.

On average, millennials have a shorter credit history, which means there is more gravity in a missed payment as opposed to an older home buyer.  Millennials do not have the cushion of a long credit history, so their mistakes are more prominent, resulting in lower scores.

Another thicket to cut through is the initial cost; the down payment.  TransUnion found that nearly 60% of consumers aged 18-34 worry about obtaining a down payment.  Coupled with lower credit scores, the task becomes daunting, forcing millennials to stay renting.

It will be interesting to see how the housing market adjusts to masses of millennials renting, and putting off their first home purchase.

Will home prices come down to make up for missed capital or will rents skyrocket and force millennials to reconsider?

Private Owner Perspective: Why List Through An Agent?

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.09.46 AMThere are quite a few steps typically required for any private landlord to procure a quality tenant: marketing, conducting showings, screening tenants, and preparing lease documents, among others.

While seasoned private landlords might even enjoy the aforementioned processes, many landlords would simply prefer their unit be rented in a timely manner by a high-quality tenant.

The most obvious obstacle for any private landlord in this situation is time. It can be significantly difficult to juggle a full-time job, schedule showings, conduct showings, screen tenants and prepare documents.

Furthermore, there is a certain level of expertise and experience that a private landlord might want to have before tackling the necessary steps towards attaining a new tenant. For example, if a landlord has never drafted a lease on his or her own, an experienced agent can step in and do this on his or her behalf.

Marketing rentals is also a facet of the procuring process that agents may assist with. Both verbiage and listing flow are critical components to successfully attracting tenants when marketing online, and rental agents know what has been tested in the marketplace and works.

While agents have mastered the use public listing sites such as Zillow and Craigslist, they also have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), increasing visibility in ways the typical private owner simply cannot.

For screening purposes, Rental Beast provides both landlords and agents with a new ‘Apply Now’ function. Screening traditionally has been a burdensome process.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.31.14 AMNow, landlords and agents have the ability to seamlessly screen tenants via Rental Beast’s online application and integrated partnership with Transunion. It is important to note that only private landlords are able to view sensitive application results, even if a given application was triggered by a partner agent on behalf of the landlord.

We at Rental Beast understand that private landlords, regardless of experience level, like to control the tenant selection process with varying degrees of firsthand involvement.

Rental Beast lends a landlord the flexibility to simultaneously market a property on his or her own, and receive agent assistance via the Rental Beast platform.

With Rental Beast, a landlord will only pay the brokerage commission once he or she has decided to accept a tenant procured by the agent and the lease is officially signed. In the meantime, landlords are able to proceed exactly as they were before. There is no upfront fee that will be collected.

We hope this post helps you, the private landlord, decide what avenue is best for both yourself and your rental property. Rental Beast can serve as a zero-risk solution that both maximizes visibility on your property and lends you the ability to receive agent assistance.

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